Behavioral and electrophysiological changes induced by acetyl-L-carnitine in aged freely-moving rats.

G. Marini, M. Calvani, P. Ceccarelli, M. Mancia


In chronically-implanted, drug-free, behaving aged Fischer rats, intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) and intraperitoneally (i.p.) acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) injections powerfully enhanced motor behavior and head movements aimed at attention and exploratory activity. This effect was dose-dependent and associated with the abolition or substantial reduction of the incidence and duration of the spontaneous EEG generalized hypersynchronous patterns termed High Voltage Spindle (HVS), with an increase in EEG monitored theta activity. The results suggest that ALCAR may stimulate the motivational system and disrupt the hypersynchronous processes by inhibiting the GABAergic thalamic reticular neurons and/or activating the brain stem cholinergic reticular system (pedunculo pontine tegmental, PPT and laterodorsal tegmental, LDT nuclei).

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